The cast of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is coming together for a reunion special — and that includes the original Aunt Viv. On Thursday (Sept. 10), Will Smith announced the special on Instagram and shocked fans by posting a photo of himself with Janet Hubert — the original Aunt Vivian — suggesting the two actors have finally buried the hatchet.
“We’re doin’ something for y’all… a for real Banks Family Reunion is comin’ soon...” Smith wrote on the post. His caption also paid tribute to James Avery, who passed away in 2014 and played Uncle Phil.
The reunion special will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic sitcom’s premiere and air on HBO Max. In one picture, Smith posed on the “Fresh Prince” set with his former co-stars that have been confirmed to appear in the special: Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
A second shot sees Smith smiling and chatting with Hubert, who was replaced by Reid in season 4. The reunion photo surprised many fans, as Hubert has publicly criticized Smith and the show for years, calling the actor an “egomaniac” and declaring there would “never be a reunion” in 2011.
“There will never be a true reunion of the Fresh Prince,” she wrote on Facebook in 2017, after Ribeiro posted a reunion photo. “I have no interest in seeing any of these people on that kind of level.”
However, it appears Hubert has changed her tune. It’s unclear whether or not she will be included in the reunion episode — as Reid has already been confirmed as an actor— but an HBO Max press release says that her “emotional reunion and a candid conversation” with Smith will be included in the special. The release described reunion event as “a funny and heartfelt night full of music, dancing and special surprise guests, in honor of the series that ran for six seasons and 148 episodes.”
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion will be broadcast exclusively on HBO Max around Thanksgiving and is being developed by Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Media company. All six seasons of the show are currently available to stream on HBO Max and a dramatic reboot of the series was recently announced for NBC Universal’s Peacock streaming service.
See Smith’s announcement below.